Why College Can Wait
By Katherine Thigpen
It has been 10 years since I graduated high school and decided to go off to college. I remember my surprise when I won a scholarship, and the anxiety I felt leaving home.
Neither one of my parents had been to college. They certainly didn’t know what to tell me to expect when I got there. I can’t say I was ever an overachieving student. I was average, and I struggled to juggle my classes with extracurricular activities, being social and trying to work. The older I got, the more I teetered whether getting an education in my field was worth it, if it would yield results.
I have always been fairly decent at selling myself on whatever idea I want to take. I remember sitting in a class around 2010 and having the professor just stop teaching. He sat on the top of a desk and finally addressed what everyone had been talking about–budget cuts. We discussed how much the state was cutting and how much that would affect our university in terms of dollars and personnel. We were going to lose professors.
“I saw shiny new looming buildings all around, but no money for the actual education taking place inside of them.”
I remember being disillusioned with what I heard. I saw shiny new looming buildings all around, but no money for the actual education taking place inside of them. If a person can’t even keep a job teaching the subject, is there hope for my career field? Is it worth it?
I had that thought in the back of my mind for a while before I decided to step away from school. At the time, I was working my first full-time job, and even then I was just covering my bills. I was attending classes, but more was required of me. More time on campus for labs and experiments. They say, after all, school is a full-time job in itself.
“I know that many people have faced that same decision in more dire circumstances than what I faced. They choose to eat and have their bills paid in the present over what they hoped they could become.”
I couldn’t keep up, and so I stopped. I’ve had a lot of time to think about my thought processes from that time and the choices I made. I’m not too hard on myself because I know that many people have faced that same decision in more dire circumstances than what I faced. They choose to eat and have their bills paid in the present over what they hoped they could become. I know I will go back and finish what I started. I still wish I had better insight into what I was deciding.
Every year, a new class of freshman enter the unfamiliar world of college for the first time. A place of costly books, fees, and meal plans. A place with pressure to choose a career field that will eventually make one successful or wealthy. A place for growing and discovering.
Since my time away from school, I have realized a few things:
1. Any field of study will always have room for the exceptional students, so it’s better to slowly but expertly go through the education process, than to overload yourself.
2. If your heart is set on a goal, you will always go back to what might have been if you don’t complete it.
3. Most schools try to make resources available to help retain students, including financial, so never hesitate to ask for help.
4. Lastly, having a support network is crucial–the people in your life to help positively motivate you to avoid distractions and keep your goal in mind.
I know my journey in the education system is far from over I just hope that the next class of students don’t forget the importance of reaching their goals.
Katherine Thigpen was born and raised in Georgia. She attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and graduated with an associates in psychology. She also completed coursework for her bachelors at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kate currently works in banking for Synovus bank. She is very passionate about improving the community and helping others as well advocating for social causes. Her hobbies include outdoor activities, writing and reading and traveling. Kate has no children or spouse, but lives with an Italian greyhound named Mr. Bill.